Archive for October, 2009


The Anatomy of Chaos in Grey’s Anatomy

I watched the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. In one of my life times, I was a respiratory therapist and knew what it was to walk around with a beeper and be summoned for Code Blue’s. From all over the hospital we would come running to the room where a nurse had noticed that a patient was in respiratory or cardiac distress. No matter how we felt about each other, we all had to move in concert. I would get the ambubag. The intern or resident would be ready to intubate. A nurse had the electric paddles to bring the heart back. We were all ready to take orders.

This episode of Grey’s Anatomy was an accurate anatomy of a disaster due to a lack of team spirit. No one was looking to cover the other. There was no trust. Personal rivalries were still cooking in the forefront of everyone’s mind. A young mother died in the process.

On the other hand, the firefighters who came in to see one of their own who was burned had a camaraderie that demonstrated a working unit of professionals.

At the end, it was shown that it wasn’t even the dysfunctional team’s fault. It was the fault of the managing surgeon. He had not fostered teamwork. Although he had highly gifted employees, he did not encourage them work together. He felt as thought he killed this woman.

When will managers learn to foster team spirit at work? Why does fear allowed to reign at the work place. Why do team members turn on each other as the enemy and work against each other? Logic would tell you that you get more accomplished working together. No one has all the gifts and treasured skill-sets. No one is 100 percent on their game every day. There is so much to learn from one another.

It is up to the manager to deal with egos. But first, he will have to deal with his own. He will have to face his own fears and stop hiding his weaknesses. The truth will not only set you free, it will make you stronger and more powerful. You just need some character. If not, there will always be a plethora of unnecessary suffering.


Ten Signs that Showed Columbus He Wasn’t in India

Over 500 years ago, if Christopher Columbus had observed these signs, he would have known he wasn’t in India.

1. There was no sign of the British Raj. There were no pink men going around in tin hats speaking bad Hindi.

2. He saw women. The women of India would have been in purdah. The women he saw were wearing something like today’s  beach wear at Club Med. The women in India were/are wrapped in saris.

3. There was not the smell of curry. But to be honest, chilies hadn’t reached India either.

4. There was no Bollywood music blaring from a loudspeaker. But then in the West Indies, they would have had reggae music, no?

5. The beach wasn’t littered with trash from last night’s snack and drink like at Marina Beach.

6. When he got off the boat, there weren’t cab drivers offering him the scenic route and places to buy carpets.

7. No one tried to get him married to their brother’s sister cousin.

8. No one insisted that he and his crew come to their house for a masala dosa on a palm leaf (although they had the palm leaves).

9. There was no Keralite selling tea at a tea stall.

10. There were no off-shore IT businesses trying to recruit his crew.


Does getting a toe wired mean better internet?

I was chasing and playing with my dog in the living room.   Now I walk like a duck, always have.  The doctor told me that my mother should have had given me a special brace or something when I was a baby.  So anyway, as I age, my right leg wanders out more, so my little toe caught on the cane sofa.  I felt shooting pain and looked down:  my little toe was at right angle with my foot.  This was not good.

So I had to do what I hate most: go to an Indian hospital.  Thank God we have friends there–the doctor on duty at the ER (they call it Casualty) used to come to our house.  Dr Sheeja is one of those rare Indian professionals who has a sense of humour so she got a good laugh in before she called in the orthopedic guy.  He took one look at it and said that I would need surgery.  “You’re kidding!”  He wasn’t.
Thank God this accident happened early and I didn’t have breakfast.  They could operate at noon.  Oh, and local anesthetic won’t be good enough.   Shoot.  I point out to the anesthetist that he wants to give me the same exact gas that killed Michael Jackson.  Someone gave my husband a menu card with  prices of rooms:  you could have the basic ward for so many rupees–all the way up to the deluxe single room with AC.  Yes, I had the deluxe.  My husband asked me if I really needed the delux, and I promptly gave him the Sicilan “the look” that could have easily put him in traction.  I remember that he’s been pretty amazing throughout this whole thing, taking care of the web of paperwork.

So I’m wheeled up in a rickety wheelchair by a village guy who never got his license.  I have nothing to protect my foot as I go through the hospital, and on the elevator, I’m the star attraction of the freak show–yes, right here ladies and gentlemen, we have the white lady with the pinky toe that goes sideways.  (I wonder what Indians call their pinky toe–a brownie toe?)  I wonder what physical therapy they give for the pinky toe.

Some nurse about 12 years old comes in the room to start my IV.  It must have been the second one she has ever done.  At least she is nice and doesn’t have that glazed look of indifference that so many can have.
After she leaves I realize I have to go to the bathroom.  I grab my bag and head to the bathroom, walking on my heel on my right foot.  I go to wash my hands–no soap.
They give me a hospital gown with Velcro that no longer works.  I learn to keep the two sides together as I wiggle on the gerney to go to the OR.  They cover my foot with a blanket.  I move the blanket off.  I’m almost too tall for the gurney and someone will bump into my foot if they don’t see it.
Then I’m on the operating table where there are no place for my arms.  They pull out two panels, and I’m in the position of the cross.  I’m counting backwards and the next thing I know is that some idiot with a mask is trying to wake me up from the most beautiful sleep.  In my drunken stupor, I ask him when will I dance again.  Maybe I think I’m am Michael Jackson.

I didn’t want to stay at the hospital, so I practiced yoga breathing to wake myself up.  Now I’m wired.  All went well, but the doctor doesn’t really discharge me and we have to wait until 7pm until we can leave.  My throat feels like the I 95 interstate highway during a drought in August.  The nurse says no water, but I sneak sips when no one is  looking.  She takes out my IV and blood spurts all over the place.  The guy with the wheelchair moves into EMT action and takes care of the problem.  Soon I’m all taped up. I survived; actually, this hospital is pretty good.  There’s lots of people around who are really suffering.  I got off easy.

I’m given no cast, no protection.  I find that my husband’s crocs work perfectly as protection.  Shep is wondering why I can’t run around with him.  I think he purposely caused this accident so I couldn’t go to work and would be with him.


When Your Dell Catches on Fire, Watch the Dell Warrenty Burn Up

One year ago around this time, early on a Sunday evening, my Dell Inspiron decided to catch on fire. This is according to the forensic evidence of the  fire cheif. The laptop had been a gift from a friend of mine in America. Being a true friend, she also bought me a three-year warranty. I had called the Dell helpdesk in the USA, and they had been very helpful. They even sent a motherboard to me by Fedex. But soon they told me that I my warranty would have to be transferred to the International Dell. So when I had the fire, Dell USA said they couldn’t help me because the warrenty was under the International Dell in India. India Dell wouldn’t help me because they said the laptop was bought in the USA.

Thank God that India uses concrete to build their homes or my neighbours would be living somewhere else. As it was, only my office and all its contents were destroyed.  Thank God also that the little white puppy I just got wasn’t in his cage near the computer. The smoke of course damaged the rest of my apartment. But Dell could care less. I’d upload the photos, but it’s too depressing. I have an Acer now.